Objective: To assess predictors of chronic lung disease (CLD), in infants requiring nasal continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) support in the first 4 weeks of life.
Methods: A retrospective case note audit of infants of birthweight 1250 g or less was undertaken.
Results: Of 290 infants identified, 50% were initially treated with ventilation, 41% with CPAP, 4% required no support, and 5% had care withdrawn. Of infants initially treated with CPAP, 23% subsequently required ventilation. Overall mortality was 19%, with a further 21% of infants developing CLD. For infants requiring CPAP support, requirement for supplementary oxygen at between 10 and 21 days predicted increased risk of CLD, and receiver operating characteristic curves suggest requirement for supplementary oxygen at 14 days to be the most reliable cut-off (area under curve = 0.72). Positive predictive values for future CLD or death for FiO2 .25, .30 and .40 while on CPAP at 14 days were 0.56, 0.61 and 0.76, respectively.
Conclusions: CLD remains prevalent in very low birthweight infants in the CPAP era. Oxygen requirement at 14 days is the strongest predictor of CLD. Infants requiring 30% oxygen or more while on CPAP at 14 days have a 60% risk of subsequent CLD or death.